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A History of Archaeological Thought Hardcover – September 18, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0521840767 ISBN-10: 0521840767 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 732 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (September 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521840767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521840767
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A History of Archaeological Thought is humbling and overwhelming in its command of ideas and evidence and the lucidity of its prose. This book would be the largest jewel in the crown of any scholar's career; that Trigger published two vast works within three years simply confirms Trigger's abilities[...]A History should be read by all professionals and budding archaeologists."
-Kenneth M. Ames, Portland State University, Canadian Journal of Archaeology

Book Description

In its original edition, Bruce Trigger's book was the first ever to examine the history of archaeological thought from medieval times to the present in world-wide perspective. Now, in this new edition, he both updates the original work and introduces new archaeological perspectives and concerns.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael Elliott on November 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Trigger's comprehensive synthesis traces the origins and developement of archaeological theory from antiquity to post-processualism. With a global perspective, Trigger explorers the philosophical and scientific milestones that altered or redirected archaeological thought throughout its history. An excellent and readable reference.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Willet A. Boyer III on October 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
Trigger's work, first published in 1989, is one of the best syntheses available on the history of archaeology as a discipline and on the theoretical perspectives which have accompanied each stage of the development of the discipline.

Trigger carefully links each of the theoretical perspectives - such as unilineal evolution, cultural materialism, Marxism, postprocessual and historical theory - with the historic and cultural developments in archaeology and in Western and world society that each perspective is based on. Besides the value of this work to archaeologists, members of the general public who want to gain an understanding of why archaeologists "do" archaeology and anthropology should read Trigger's work as well.

Very well done, and highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luhar on December 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
I had to acquire this lengthy tome for a class entitled Theory & Method in Archaeology. I was extremely apprehensive due to its size and the topic, even as an archaeology student.

Once I opened the book, I was pleasantly surprised at the pace and tone of the writing. The book moves quickly, is very informative, and even has some nice graphics!

I have since become an archaeologist myself, in cultural resources management, and I still enjoy this book. It is a comprehensive compendium of archaeological theory through the years. Unlike the many theory articles I have read, it isn't pulling for one theory over another. A History of Archaeological Thought sticks mostly to the facts, leaving the read with an impression of how archaeology has evolved through time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By History Fan on February 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is by far the most thorough and complete history of the development of archaeological theory. At times, the material is rather dense (certainly not for the lay armchair archaeologist), but it is informative none the less. All students of archaeology should read this text.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ferris on November 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Trigger's book, "A History of Archaeological Thought", is an excellent addition to any archaeological method and theory (M&T) class at the graduate or undergraduate level. I purchased this book, as recommended by a professor of mine, to read in addition to all the readings assigned in my graduate M&T class. Trigger articulates in few words what many archaeological theorists take pages to explain (eg. Binford). It was extremely helpful, and made wading through different theoretical paradigms much more enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Renter6 on February 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An absolutely essential reference. There is no more comprehensive and complete survey of the history of archaeology. The revisions in this edition all make sense, kudos to Bruce Trigger for bringing this excellent text forward 20+ years, and rethinking some of the more distant historical contexts as well.

No other work can stand in for this book, and yet for the purposes of teaching the history of archaeological theory, the book doesn't work. It is lethal. Undergraduates will not read it; they can't, and maybe they shouldn't be expected to.

I'm not interested in running in the other direction, administering Death by Theory or something equally light on content. That doesn't work either. But how can we justify assigning this text in light of the small fraction of it that will actually be absorbed, even by majors in the discipline?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Archaic Boy on July 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Trigger's second edition is a mainstay of archaeological theory courses for its comprehensiveness and insightful commentary. This is my primary text for the history of archaeological theory. I've had to replace it twice, suggesting that students also appreciate it.
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